"Sound is a wave like the waves on the ocean / The moon plays the ocean like a violin"
The opening line from Andrew Bird's "Sifters" becomes the backbone of an improvisational sound sculpture. The Petrosyllabic Resonator II translates the low roar of these crashing waveforms into a shifting silica microterrain.
Two literary dictums chart the discord between time, place, and memory. Thomas Wolfe informed us that we could never go back home. William Faulkner pronounced that the past is never dead, and not even past. Where we have been is at once omnipresent and unreachable.
Attempts to return to the formative spaces where my identity was forged have made clear that these intersections between location and experience only truly exist for the briefest of moments. As these instants inevitably evaporate, their coordinates wander away from the realm of tangible things, and instead may only be plotted within the domain of metamorphic memory. Petrosyllabic Resonator II corrects for these distortions by using the spoken remnant of places remembered as a catalyst for the formation of new landscapes.
There is a long tradition of prosaic cartography, in which one's claim upon a place is essentially the story of their journey through it. The surveying scheme of "metes and bounds" codified this narrative system into law, demarcating parcel rights by virtue of towering trunks and robust boulders. These natural landmarks were the bounds, anchoring those circumscribed within their perimeter to the loamy soils, and conjuring identity from footfalls.
In his old age, photographer Aaron Siskind once quipped that “the only nature that interests me is my own.” This could reasonably be understood to mean something internal and governing (e.g. human nature), or, alternatively, it could refer to something encountered and claimed (e.g. a niche in the environment). 'Specimens' flourishes in this ambiguous syntax and explores a third interpretation derived from the intersection of the two alternative readings: objects observed outwardly resonate with identity felt inwardly, a person’s nature is equal parts internal and external, and the experience of a place bestows some particular species of ownership.
A sculptural/musical interpretation of the distance which divides youth from adulthood. Here, this journey is presented through the linear elevation profile of the terrain which fills that divide. Traversed Mercator is both a delineation and compression of the geographical, chronological, and biographical distance between present and past.
BFA Thesis Exhibition
This body of work began with a song about sediments. I have been captivated by earth processes my entire life, so it is of little surprise that, for me, stacks of words are fluidly transposed as layers of stone. I repeat stories to myself and others in order to explain who, exactly, I am. These accumulated vignettes pile up, eventually becoming lithified into a "personal stratigraphy", which is easily and often altered by the metamorphic process of recollection.
Every good story commences with a setting. Sequences of events may then be emplotted, draped across this backbone to weave a narrative. Spine is a scaled wireframe model of the earthen skin which blankets the sedimentary underpinnings beneath my experiences.
In searching for those formative places it became clear that these intersections between location and experience can now only be plotted in my memory.
Rip Van Winkle’s Lament is an original musical composition which has been transformed into a charcoal drawing through use of the Petrosyllabic Resonator.
First attempt at building a cymatic device from an old speaker. Charcoal powder drawing made by layering live sounds from a guitar through a loop pedal.
This piece relates the compression of time into stratified rock layers to the compression of time in a photograph/series of photographs.
I might teethe
sift through miles of dumpster speech
all the words I'll be
sedimentary slanted rhymes
glue this phrase
to the days I've died
With elsewhere eyes and empty pockets
I've been swindled by the mountains.
Laid beneath this overburden blanket
stitched from hours the Catskills claimed.
My moments heaped
in bedrock sheets.
My metamorphic memories.
and my stories come undone
in the same breath they’re re-spun.
Was I only every song that I have sung?
Preservation of the self across the cavernous depths of geologic time is a rare and fickle process, wholly dependent upon a symphony of precariously arranged variables and some measure of luck. Lithified envisions a person in some future state, sequestered away from the gnawing of time by an inconceivably unlikely confluence of events.
A series of portraits of friends and family. 4x5 view camera contact prints.
A series of images which explores the feeling of being swallowed/coated in earth. Photographed on the banks of Salt Creek outside Laurelville, OH.
A loom of light reflects and refracts familiar features, weaving estuarial shores of the phreatic self into the fabric of the river. An amorphous, viscous identity arises from the commingling, calling the borders of the body into dispute.
A series of observational images created to document one pair of yarn bombers who participated in the Operation Bomb Central event organized by Artworks Cincinnati.
This series of medium format images envisions the body as a tree form.
A short film to accompany "The Ballad of Love and Hate" by the Avett Brothers.
This piece is a reinterpretation of stray words heard and recorded while sitting in a public park for three hours.
Promotional image for the band Mays Gone.
He loads his shells into his gun.
He loads his words for everyone
with unappreciated artistry.
He looks out at upholstered crowds,
and figures that loitering doubt
tastes good with vacancy.
There’s no substance to his minor chords,
and all his lyrics can afford
are drunks and apathetic friends; distant relatives.
But still he sketches out his soul in scribbles,
convinced the best mirrors are college ruled.
Synapse fire aimed at legal notepads,
Ammunition built from vocabulary.
Oh, how they’d carry the casualties
out of the range of the microphone; over the radio.
‘Cause he’s heard the radio has a personality
and he says “I could dream bigger with that kind of reach.
Oh, I’d fill 800 square miles of corn and kidney beans,
and if no one’s listening,
at least I won’t be staring at these empty seats”